[Xen-community] RE: Xen-community Digest, Vol 2, Issue 8
I would send this email to xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx as there are
many technical people that watch that mailing list for questions such as
this. This mailing list is primarily for community announcements such as
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Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 16:50:40 -0500
From: "mark mclarnon" <mark.mclarnon@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Xen-community] Xen not recognizing second SATA Hard Disk or
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I have encountered a strange situation with Xen 3.1.0 that I cannot seem
resolve. I wonder if anyone in the community has experienced anything
similar. Assume for the moment that I have the proper CPU to be running
in the first place. My situation is this:
Operating System: Debian Etch (Linux debian 2.6.18-6-686-bigmem)
Motherboard ASUS P5K
8 GB RAM (hence bigmem kernel)
2 SATA Hard Drive 750 GB
2 SATA DVD Burner
Now I am aware of the problems with this particular board (P5K) and
devices. Although there was no particular reason to choose SATA DVD
(a decision I now regret), I believe the use of 2 SATA HD was ok.
Incidentally, the only way I could get Debian onto the system was using
USB key method.
NOTE: I am running the latest BIOS as downloaded from ASUS support
0225/08. Sorry I forget the rev number but its dated from Jan 08.
All 4 devices are connected to the 4 main mother board SATA channels
ICH9 connectors) and nothing is connected to the JMicron channel in the
of the board. In addition to this, JMicron controller has been disabled
the BIOS. The order of devices is:
1. SATA HD (/dev/sda)
2. SATA CDROM
3. SATA CDROM
4. SATA HD (/dev/sdb)
I follow the instructions to build Xen from source:
# apt-get ..... (long list omitted here)
# make world
# make install
# update-rc.d xend defaults 20 21
# update-rc.d xendomains defaults 21 20
I did not use any custom configuration or build options. Its at this
that things get hairy. I see many google/Xen links that you must build
initrd but the recommended way of doing so differs quite a bit. Some
claim you should use mkinitrd, some claim yaird. Others claim
and still others claim update-initramfs. Initially I believe I used
mkinitramfs as follows:
# depmod 2.6.18-xen
# mkinitramfs -o /boot/initrd.img-2.6.18-xen 2.6.18-xen
The next step was to run:
This automatically adds the following stanza to /etc/grub/menu.lst:
title Xen 3.1.0 / Debian GNU/Linux, kernel 2.6.18-xen
module /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-xen root=/dev/sda1 ro console=tty0
Coincidentally, my existing stanza was:
title Debian GNU/Linux, kernel 2.6.18-6-686-bigmem
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-6-686-bigmem root=/dev/sda1 ro
Note the root=/dev/sda1 in each case. At this point, I reboot and
start the machine with a Xen kernel. Depending on how I have the P5K
setting "SATA Configuration" (detailed in the P5K user manual section
the machine either fails to boot (when set with the SATA Enhanced
or boots successfully (with the SATA IDE setting) but never sees the
SATA HD or second DVD writer. In short, the devices connected to the 3rd
4th ICH9 SATA connectors don't get recognized.
NOTE: When SATA Configuration is set to IDE, the only way Xen will boot
if I change the root=/dev/sda1 to read root=/dev/hda1.
Whats even more interesting (to me at least) is that when booting with
Xen kernel, the boot device that used to be known as /dev/sda is
by the kernel as /dev/hda. Yet files such as /etc/fstab still reference
/dev/sda1! Does the SCSI subsystem provide a mapping of some type from
/dev/sda to /dev/hda? Is it a softlink in the /dev directory?
In desperation, I have tried grub options such as all-generic-ide and
irqpoll to get the second drives recognized but the system never seems
boot properly listing errors with "lost interrupt hda" and the like. The
second HD and DVD writer seem to show up as /dev/sde and /dev/sdg (if I
My questions are:
1. Is attempting to use a second HD and DVD writer a lost cause?
2. Why does the Xen kernel skip the recognition of the second HD and DVD
3. Why if the boot log reports my boot device was recognized as /dev/hda
does my system still boot and reference /dev/sda?
4. Why must /etc/grub/menu.lst be changed but not /etc/fstab?
5. Could this entire problem be attributed to the lack of judgment when
procuring a Xen compatible motherboard?
Has anyone seen this situation before?
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